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Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2015

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Sexual communication with a childN.I.

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90—(1) In the Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 after Article 22 insert—

Sexual communication with a child

22A(1) A person aged 18 or over (A) commits an offence if—

(a)for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, A intentionally communicates with another person (B),

(b)the communication is sexual or is intended to encourage B to make (whether to A or to another) a communication that is sexual, and

(c)B is under 16 and A does not reasonably believe that B is 16 or over.

(2) For the purposes of this Article, a communication is sexual if—

(a)any part of it relates to sexual activity, or

(b)a reasonable person would, in all the circumstances but regardless of any person's purpose, consider any part of the communication to be sexual;

and in sub-paragraph (a) “sexual activity” means an activity that a reasonable person would, in all the circumstances but regardless of any person's purpose, consider to be sexual.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this Article is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years..

(2) In Article 4 of that Order (meaning of “sexual”) after “except” insert “ Article 22A (sexual communication with a child) or ”.

(3) In Article 76(10)(a) of that Order (offences outside the United Kingdom) after “children)” insert “ except Article 22A ”.

(4) In the Sexual Offences Act 2003 in Schedule 3 (sexual offences for purposes of Part 2 of that Act) after paragraph 92H insert—

92HA  An offence under Article 22A of that Order (sexual communication with a child).

(5) In the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 in Part 2 of Schedule 2 (specified sexual offences) in paragraph 14A after the entry relating to Article 22 of the Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 insert— “ Article 22A (sexual communication with a child), ”.

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